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College Hockey:
No decisions made after CCHA meeting with Atlantic Hockey schools

The meeting between representatives of the CCHA and four Atlantic Hockey schools produced only discussion, according to statements released by both sides.

The sides met Tuesday on the Mercyhurst campus in Erie, Pa., amid a changing landscape for Division I men’s college hockey. In 2013, the CCHA will be reduced to six teams — possibly as few as three depending on other departures — as teams move to other conferences.

Canisius, Mercyhurst, Niagara and Robert Morris sent officials to the meeting with CCHA commissioner Fred Pletsch, Ferris State athletic director Perk Weisenburger and Bowling Green associate athletic director Jim Elsasser.

The Atlantic Hockey schools were represented by Canisius athletic director Bill Maher and associate athletic director John Maddock; Mercyhurst athletic director Joe Kimball and senior associate athletic director Aaron Kemp; Niagara athletic director Ed McLaughlin; and Robert Morris athletic director Craig Coleman.

“We had a very frank and open discussion with commissioner Pletsch and members of his executive committee about joining the CCHA,” a statement from the Atlantic Hockey schools said. “The CCHA offers several exciting opportunities for our institutions, however each of us feels the need to bring the information we discussed back to campus and discuss it with our school president and our hockey staff.

“In addition, we will need to have discussions with Atlantic Hockey commissioner Bob DeGregorio and his executive committee. Once we have completed our due diligence, we have agreed to meet at a future date to continue to explore our opportunities. At this point in time, no decisions have been made about leaving Atlantic Hockey or joining the CCHA.”

The CCHA has given its remaining schools a Sept. 30 deadline to declare their intention to leave the conference in 2013, a source told USCHO.

The four Atlantic Hockey schools involved in Tuesday’s meeting will reassess the makeup of the CCHA after Sept. 30 before making decisions on whether to join the league, the source said.

A statement from Pletsch read:

“We had very open and honest discussions with representatives of the four schools from the AHA. And we are committed to having further dialogue in the future to potentially accommodate those schools, while representing the interests of our member schools that are committed to staying in the CCHA for the 2013-14 season and beyond.”

In the summer of 2013, the CCHA will lose Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State to the Big Ten, Miami to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and Northern Michigan to the WCHA.

Notre Dame, Western Michigan and Alaska also have been linked to possible moves away from the CCHA.


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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RXIYXPN5XUZ2V5UT7CEV2YHZBY A guy named Joe

    If the CCHA loses one more member from the “core”, don’t they lose the AQ for 2 years or until they have a “stable” membership?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AWUWXDKNATZUSY7MZ3ZCBASABM David

      I don’t think so.  From the NCAA manual:

      31.3.4.4.3 Grace Period. A conference shall remain eligible for automatic qualification for two years following the date of withdrawal of the institution(s) that causes the conference’s membership to fall below six institutions, or below six members with continuity of membership, provided the conference maintains at least five Division I members.A conference shall remain eligible for automatic qualification for two years following the date of withdrawal of the institution(s) that causes the conference’s membership to fall below six institutions, or below six members with continuity of membership, provided the conference maintains at least five Division I members.

      So, If they can get to 6 for 2013, the grace period will cover 2 seasons, then those 6 will have qualified for the autobid via the base rule:

      31.3.4.4.2 Single-Sport Conference. To be considered for automatic qualification in a particular sport, a single-sport member conference for a sport sponsored by less than 50 percent of the Division I membership must include six institutions that have conducted conference competition together the preceding two years in the sport in question at the Division I level.To be considered for automatic qualification in a particular sport, a single-sport member conference for a sport sponsored by less than 50 percent of the Division I membership must include six institutions that have conducted conference competition together the preceding two years in the sport in question at the Division I level.

  • OldHusky

    Interesting that LSSU wasn’t directly represented at the meeting.  One wonders if LSSU isn’t leaning west.  Also interesting that the Atlantic schools will “reassess” the CCHA after September 30th.  NMU is already gone and ND and WMU are certain to leave.  Not sure what will be left to “reassess” other than LSSU’s status.  Word is that Tech and Northern want LSSU in the WCHA but the MN schools aren’t too keen on it, particularly if UAF joins WCHA.  I’d hate to see LSSU play spoiler in a possible CCHA rebirth, but as a Yooper, I’d like to see all three UP schools in the same conference.

    • RamboWildcat

      LSSU has NOT been invited by the WCHA as of today.  That may change, but they are simply not invited. You gotta be invited by the WCHA to join.  That’s the news I just got via connections out of the Sault. 

  • Snipercohan23

    Heard Rumors that a new Conference brewing with only New York Schools.

    RIT, SLU, Clarkson, RPI, Canisius, West Point, Niagara, and Union.  CCHA should hold its breath.

    • Anonymous

      I assume Colgate would also be on that list…

    • Joe C

      Have you heard any Ivy League rumblings? That would explain the New York schools league rumors.

      Also, it seems interesting that we have not heard much from Hockey East and Notre Dame since the NCHC was formed and the WCHA started cherry-picking the remains of the CCHA.

      In the end, I see less of CCHA taking schools away from AHA as I do see CCHA and AHA merge or even AHA absorbing what remains of the CCHA. I am sad to write these words, but I am not seeing a positive end game for the CCHA.

    • Guest

      would this be the new worst conference in the country?

    • FD8

      Someone’s been reading the RIT threads too much.

  • Rambo Wildcat

    MN schools not too keen on LSSU?  Let they can talk?  How many NCAA titles have those programs won???  Ah……. 0 ……..Tech won 3, NMU 1, LSSU 3…..and yes many years ago, but the U.P. schools have the rich history.  

    • Suture

      I don’t understand what you are saying?  MN schools have no NCAA titles?  All the MN schools?  I am assuming you do not mean this since 2 of the 5 Division I schools have won several NC’s.  Anyway, I am confused.  I think LSSU would be a great fit for the WCHA. I think these schools (NMU, Tech, LSSU) play a fairly similar style to the WCHA schools….at least they used to (can’t say I have seen any of these teams recently other than Michigan Tech). 
       
      You know, I read the various comments on here, I see North Dakota lose a first round draft pick (J.T. Miller), Northeastern loses Oleksiak, Michigan loses a goalie recruit, Tyler Biggs might leave Miami…..I hope everyone can see how “wonderful” this upheaval has been for college hockey.  I hear these comments about “new teams” coming into division I hockey and it makes me laugh.  Name one “big, notable school” that plans to join college hockey anytime soon?  Moorhead State University and some of the AHA schools are NOT replacements for schools like MN, Michigan, MSU, Sconny, UND, Denver, etc…  College hockey very quickly lost its reputation as a developmental league for the NHL (I understand many players do want to acquire a college degree). I am quite certain these recent defections are just a drop in the bucket.  The changes we have all witnessed this past year have damaged the sport more than anyone realizes. This is one very disappointed hockey fan and I have a feeling I am not alone.  We should not be having these conversations about teams leaving their longstanding conference affiliations, this is all SO BAD.  Never thought I would see the day when a Gopher/Sioux series was an insignificant, out of conference match up every few years.  And these new conferences are going to help college hockey?  Really?  Someone needs a spanking.

      • yooper

        I’m quite sure Rambo Wildcat was referring to the MN schools in the now reduced WCHA.  I agree with most of your points, except for one.  These moves will eventually provide room for growth in college hockey simply because the league sizes are reduced.  Other future teams can get in. Before, with 10-12 team leagues, there was far more concern about the lack of opportunity for good out of conference games with top schools elsewhere that would enhance chances for NCAA postseason.  It’s tough to schedule Boston College when you have to schedule 10 or 11 league rivals.  With 10-12 teams in a league already, most schools didn’t want any more additions.  I think this is what boxed UAH out of the previous CCHA, and perhaps it was what kept Bemidji out of the old WCHA for so long.  Now, new teams are more likely to join leagues and indeed you may see more interest in the introduction of college hockey where no interest was seen before.